For Her Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by Viral Films
Directed by Daniel Mark Young
Written by James Craigie
2017, 20 minutes, Not Rated
Released on 25th December 2017
Derek Nelson as Jonathan
Kattreya Scheurer-Smith as Elizabeth
Natasha Killip as Anne
Mari Beaseley as Homeless Girl
A short film about a man and the lengths he will go to for his demanding, less-than-appreciative girlfriend. There’s no denying that Jonathan and Elizabeth are in love, but her chronic illness will test just how far he is willing to go… for her, geddit.
Like a lot of short films, Daniel Young’s twenty minute feature feels more like a dry run for something bigger and better than a main course in its own right. As a showcase for young’s directorial skills and James Craigie’s writing, it gets the job done. A romantic drama with slight horror film affectations, it isn’t visually or conceptually distinctive, but Young displays a keen eye for kitchen sink drama and the film looks crisp and professional.
Inevitably, this professionalism is undercut by the typically budget actors, every bit as wooden and stilted as one would expect from performers in a low-budget, crowdfunded short film. Still, neither of the leads are noticeably horrible, and there’s a certain, ahem, magnetism to Scheurer-Smith that serves the film well. The script is solid enough, but the narration is whiny, unnecessary and could have been bypassed altogether by following the show-don’t-tell rule of screenwriting. When it comes to low-budget filmmaking, less (dialogue) is definitely more.
There’s a big twist which isn’t ground-breaking but still comes out of left-field. It’s a shame that the film is essentially over before it really begins, as there’s some mileage to be had in this particular combination of relationship drama and genre movie. On the other hand, perhaps it’s best it ends when it does, as the rest of the movie could only really be about a ‘beta male’ getting ‘red pilled’ and turning on his controlling, evil girlfriend, and the Internet already has enough of that sort of silly thinking already thank you very much. Just go watch Burying the Ex instead.
In spite of its faults, For Her shows verve and promise, and this writer wouldn’t be particularly averse to seeing a – carefully plotted – feature length version at some point in the future. While it doesn’t go the extra mile, it’s a film with an unexpected bite.